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'We not ill. No children. We beg for beer'

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'We not ill. No children. We beg for beer'
Adrian Golebiewski poses on Oslo's Karl Johans Gate. Photo: Facebook
22:56 CEST+02:00
Two young Polish men have started begging for money in central Oslo with a sign which mocks the many Roma beggars. 'We not ill. We have no children. We beg for beer,' it reads.
Sosa Grzesiek and Adrian Golebiewski, both in their early twenties, arrived in Norway a few days ago and have pitched their tent on an island in the Oslo Fjord.
 
Unlike other young campers in Norway, however, they spend their days begging for beer money.
 
The men claim that they are entitled to beg as they are poor.
 
”The streets are for everyone, and we need the money,” Golebiewski told Norwegian broadcaster TV2. ”Maybe we are making more than others.” 
 
Only a few meters away from the place where they have set up their pitch, there are a group of Roma people from Romania begging, next to signs that describe their difficult situations in an attempt to elicit sympathy. 
 
"In a way, it’s an insult against all of us who are sitting here who actually need the money," a man begging not far from the Poles told TV2.
 
The Poles say that they have not experienced any hostility, though local residents question their need for donations.
 
“It’s not great. The money should go to people who need it,” Simen Andreas Olsen, a passer-by, told TV2. “But we need to remember that other beggars don’t necessarily use the money for the purpose stated on their sign.”
 
Local charity workers were neither surprised nor offended by the young men.
 
”Of course I understand that it’s provocative for people who are really poor," said Adelheid Firing Hvambsal, Secretary of the Church city mission. ”Poverty makes us uncomfortable. It’s something we want to explain away, whether it’s ideas about organised crime and trafficking, or taking particular notice of two people begging for beer money.”
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